The last 30 years have witnessed an unprecedented increase in the prevalence of all allergic disease that includes asthma, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, drug and food allergy, anaphylaxis, occupational allergy, and allergic skin disease manifesting as atopic eczema and urticaria. While there is much debate about why this ‘epidemic’ has occurred, the highest prevalence and greatest change in demography appears to be linked to aspects of the Western lifestyle that not only includes altered exposure to micro-organisms, which is frequently cited as the cause for the changing trends, but also changes in housing, drug use, and diet, as well as indoor and outdoor air pollutants. It is most likely that more than one factor is involved in driving the trends.
Irrespective of the underlying cause(s), allergic disease has now assumed public health proportions affecting all age groups and often manifesting as multiple organ disease. Indeed, complex allergy often presents a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. Since allergy has such protean manifestations it often falls not only within the domain of organbased specialists, but also general practitioners, immunologists, and those specializing in allergy. All such professionals will find this Atlas an aid to the diagnosis and management of allergy.
With the aid of clear diagrams and ample clinical and pathological illustrations, this Atlas describes the mechanisms, epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of all of the common allergies. Great care has been taken to draw out the most salient features of each of the disorders and to present them in a way that will enhance learning and recall memory.
While there are many books on allergy, both small and large, this Atlas fills a unique niche in providing an accessible source of up-to-date information. This book is of special value to medical students and those in post-graduate training, as well as to practitioners who wish for an easy-to-use, illustrated reference source. We are extremely grateful to our patients who co-operated in this effort and it is their interest that has made this unique book possible. We hope you find its content valuable.
We are always pleased to receive comments, especially if you have any useful suggestions for future revisions.